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Want a rookie starter? Draft an OT or LB

It's no secret the Dolphins need the coming NFL draft to provide them with two things: Starters. Stars.

This post is about finding starters. The fact is it is simply easier to find starters at certain positions than others, particularly if you want them to get into the lineup quickly.

The chart below from the folks at Draftmetrics shows that 53 rookies ended up starting in the NFL last season. Most of those were defensive ends, which is surprising when you figure that since 2002, the defensive end position has yielded 41 players who started as rookies -- behind linebacker, offenisve tackle, safety, cornerback and wide receiver.

Those 53 rookie starters represented the most of any draft in the last 10 years with the 2002 draft coming in second with 52 rookie starters. Draftmetrics defines a starter as a player who started at least eight games at his position.

Oh, yes, I know what you're thinking: The Dolphins need a starting QB. Well, last year was good for that. But traditionally QBs don't step up as rookies as you see in the chart. They are not the least productive position to yield rookies starters -- that belongs to the fullback spot -- but they're down there as you will see below:

 

QB

RB

FB

WR

TE

C

G

OT

DE

DT

LB

CB

S

All

2002

2

3

1

3

4

2

4

5

4

3

6

3

6

46

2003

2

1

2

4

1

3

4

3

2

3

4

5

4

38

2004

1

1

1

6

1

3

2

5

3

4

8

6

4

45

2005

1

2

0

4

2

0

7

6

3

1

8

7

6

47

2006

3

2

1

2

3

1

4

8

7

4

6

3

8

52

2007

1

2

2

5

1

0

4

5

4

2

5

8

5

44

2008

2

4

0

3

1

0

1

7

4

2

2

4

2

32

2009

3

1

0

5

2

3

2

5

2

2

6

5

5

41

2010

3

2

0

4

4

3

2

8

3

4

6

4

7

50

2011

4

0

1

6

3

3

6

5

9

5

7

2

2

53

Total

22

18

8

42

22

18

36

57

41

30

58

47

49

448

s

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